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INCF Endorses NetPyNE as a Standard

8 March 2024

On February 29th, INCF’s Standards and Best Practices Committee endorsed NetPyNE as a new standard. NetPyNE is an open-source Python package designed for the development, simulation, and analysis of biological neuronal networks. Built on top of the widely used NEURON simulator, NetPyNE is a high-level interface for creating, managing, and simulating complex neural network models using declarative network specification.

Integrating all the major steps of the modeling workflow under a single framework, NetPyNE enables users to define their model across scales, from molecules to neurons to circuits. Included are tools for analyzing and visualizing simulation results, which have been used in the rendering of various detailed models of the motor, auditory, and somatosensory thalamocortical circuits, and of spinal cord circuits in various peer-reviewed publications. Users can get started by consulting the comprehensive documentation, tutorials, and examples which have already been generated by the growing NetPyNE community. 

NetPyNE conformed to the main criteria outlined by INCF for consideration for endorsement. It is open-source and designed around the FAIR principles of Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability. NetPyNE is well documented with good test coverage and is governed by a volunteer steering committee led by documented goals and standards.

There is a large and growing user community with dozens of ongoing projects utilizing NetPyNE. NetPyNE is currently supported by a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and we will apply to extend that grant. While there are other INCF SBPs that cover portions of the capabilities, NetPyNE is unique in multiple modeling scales (from molecules to brains) and its breadth of function (import/export, network specification, parallel simulation, variety of analyses, and optimization of parameters). 

Read more: 
NetPyNE website:
User Documentation: